South Africa 2010: who will we miss?

As we informed a few months ago, the 32 teams which will be competing in the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ are ready.  Earlier this week, some of the most important teams announced the preliminary lists of players who will be playing; we’ll focus this time on the ones who didn’t make it to the preliminary lists and consequently will miss the highly anticipated tournament:


Juan Roman Riquelme

Argentina: Juan Roman Riquelme, Esteban Cambiasso, Fernando Gago and Javier Zanetti were axed by Diego Maradona.  In the case of Riquelme, his absence was no surprise for anyone, due to his major disagreement with Argentina’s controversial boss during the Cup qualifiers. Zanetti, a veteran of the 1998 and 2002 World Cups, and Cambiasso, who helped Argentina reach the 2002 quarter-finals, are both key players in the Inter side that reached the UEFA Champions League™ final at the expense of holders Barcelona.


Maradona’s hopes and ambitions rely too much on Lionel Messi, but Maradona might be forgetting that the Barça marvellous player could get injured or suspended during the tournament, which could cause severe damage to Argentina’s midfield due to the lack of a proper substitute.


Brazil: Adriano, Alexandre Pato, Roberto Carlos, Ronaldo and Ronaldinho were not considered in Dunga’s preliminary list.  Alexandre Pato who is one of Serie A’s brightest and youngest talents was expected to be part of the Brazilian squad but surprisingly he was ignored by Dunga.  Ronaldinho who is not in his best shape was also expected to be on the list, but his irregular performance during last season might have been the cause of his exclusion.


Francesco Totti world champion
Totti: World champion ignored by Lippi

Italia: Francesco Totti, Alessandro Del Piero, Antonio Cassano, Luca Toni and Nicola Legrottaglie.  Francesco Totti had announced his retirement from the national team after the last World Cup, however, earlier this year there were rumours about a come back to the squadra azzurra, nevertheless, Totti deemed ineligible by Marcelo Lippi.  Del Piero and Legrottaglie weren’t considered, even though they had a fairly regular campaign with the vecchia signora.  It seems Lippi’s pragmatic squad is betting on new players despite they could be playing with some of the footballers who won the last World Cup.


Del Piero
We'll miss Del Piero

Andrey Arshavin is certainly one of the players who will be missed in this World Cup.  His national team was unable to get a ticket to South Africa after falling against Slovenia in the second leg of the play-off to decide one of Europe’s remaining 4 spots in the summer competition. Arshavin who took Euro 2008 by surprise and has been one of the Arsenal’s biggest assets in the Premier League, will watch the final rounds of the tournament from home, hoping to get another opportunity to shine with his national team in Euro 2012.

What are you trying to tell us Andrei?

May 13th, 2010.






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